23 January 2024

Distillery and brewery tours in Edinburgh

Holyrood Distillery Tour

Whether you’re a whisky, gin, rum or beer fan, or simply interested in the magical science behind the process of it all, there are numerous places in the city that offer guided tours.

Holyrood Distillery

Daily tours and experiences of both the whisky and gin distillery.

The first single malt whisky distillery in the city centre in almost a century, Holyrood Distillery opened in 2019. Situated next to Holyrood Park it is located in a 180 year old railway goods building which has been thoughtfully renovated as both a whisky and gin distillery. As such, they have a number of tours to choose from, covering all interests and tastes.

Lasting between 60 and 90 minutes, learn how gin and whisky are made and the innovative new methods in craft distilling. These hands-on sensory experiences, taking in either or both the gin and whisky distilleries, have plenty of opportunities for tasting and nosing throughout.

A range of bespoke experiences, including tailored and tutored tastings, masterclasses, food pairing experiences and fine dining can also be arranged for groups and private visits. Or even book a free guided tour of the distillery, lab and cask room, exclusively for residents of Edinburgh.

Port of Leith Distillery

Port of Leith Distillery sits on Leith’s waterfront and is inspired by the history of the iconic port district, itself a former epicentre of whisky production.

The nine-storey distillery will produce Scotland’s national drink using barley sourced from a single farm on the outskirts of the city and water pumped from the nearby Pentland Hills.

Over the course of 90 minutes, visitors will be guided through the story of this unique distillery, fill their own miniature bottle of New Make spirit and taste their way through the distillery’s production process in its purpose built Quality Control Tasting Laboratory.

A top floor mezzanine bar with panoramic views of the Leith and Edinburgh skyline and shop complete this one-of-a-kind building.

The Scotch Whisky Experience

Scotch Whisky Experience, couple holding up whisky glass.

Although not a distillery itself, The Scotch Whisky Experience is a 5-star visitor attraction on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile which explores the history and heritage of Scotland’s national drink and is well worth visiting. 

Their multi-sensory tour explores the production process followed by a breath-taking 180° panoramic tour of Scotland’s five whisky-making regions. Don’t miss the chance to stop-by the glittering vault, which contains one of the world’s largest private collections of Scotch whisky.

Afterwards, indulge in one of their seasonally inspired signature dishes, perfectly paired with a dram of two, in the on-site Amber Restaurant & Whisky Bar.

Glenkinchie Distillery

Located in Pencaitland, 15 miles from Edinburgh, is Glenkinchie Distillery, the Lowland home of Johnnie Walker whisky.

There are several entertaining and educational tours to choose from, including the Journey of Flavour Tour, which explores Glenkinchie’s rich heritage whilst enjoying three drams and a cocktail and the Hidden Lowland Tour & Tasting, where visitors can enjoy tastings of whiskies produced exclusively at Glenkinchie.

East Coast Buses service 113 run a regular service from Edinburgh city centre to the village of Pencaitland.  From there it is a 2.5 mile walk uphill to the distillery.

Summerhall Distillery – Pickering’s Gin & The Broody Hen Scotch Whisky

Old kennels now Still room,© Summerhall Distillery
© Summerhall Distillery

Located in the multi-purpose venue, Summerhall, and nestled in the old dog kennels of the Old Royal Dick Vet School, lies Summerhall Distillery, the distillery that produces Pickering’s Gin and Broody Hen Scotch Whisky.

Summerhall Distillery pride themselves on their journey from a small distillery and the first exclusive gin distillery to be established in Edinburgh for over 150 years, to now producing bottled gin, whisky, and vodka, and gaining many partnerships, including The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Gleneagles and The Royal Yacht Britannia.

Take part in witnessing the alchemical process of transforming carefully selected botanicals into exceptional gin through one of their many tours and experiences, these include their award-winning Pickering’s Gin Jolly Tour, Cheese and Cocktails Cheese Masterclass, The Broody Hen Whisky Experience and Whisky Tasting & Storytelling.

Edinburgh Gin

Artist Impression of Exterior of New Edinburgh Gin Attraction

Edinburgh Gin have been delighting us with their vibrant range of gins since 2010. From their classic Edinburgh Dry Gin to flavoured gins which have 100% natural flavours, they’re sure to have something to tempt all palates.

In January 2024 their distillery in the West End of the city closes, as it prepares to open its new state-of-the-art distillery and visitor centre at the Arches Distillery on East Market Street. The new centre, which opens in in the autumn of 2024, will be a focus for all-things-gin, including tours and experiences. Keep an eye on their social channels for further announcements.

Secret Garden Distillery

Founded in 2017, The Secret Garden Distillery is housed in the Secret Herb Garden on the outskirts of Edinburgh and in the shadows of the Pentland Hills. The garden has over 500 naturally grown and tendered varieties of herbs, many of which are used in the production of their own gins. 

Beginning with the hand-picking and drying of the garden’s flowers through to distilling, bottling and labelling, everything happens on site and will be showcased during the Discovery Experience and Alchemy Experience tours.

Lind & Lime Gin Distillery

Lind & Lime Gin Distillery outside, All Copyright Reserved

A classic London Dry Gin, Lind & Lime Gin is produced using just seven botanicals, with juniper at its core, complemented by fresh lime peel and pink peppercorn.

Organic certified – every ingredient they use is organic – their recipe took 18 months to perfect. This is paying off though as they have won multiple international awards, including Best London Dry Gin at the 2020 Scottish Gin Awards.

From their distillery in Leith, they offer the Lind & Lime Gin Distillery Tour & Tasting. Lasting approximately 75 minutes, participants are greeted with a signature Lind & Lime Gin & Tonic, before hearing stories about the gin’s origins, while sipping on a gimlet (a cocktail made of gin and fresh lime juice).

56 North 

A dedicated gin bar, 56 North Bar comprises both a gin bar, kitchen and working distillery.

Running around 75 minutes, South Loch Gin Distillery Tasting covers the basics of botanicals, distilling, equipment and bottling and is a great choice for anyone wanting to understand more about production as well as see a working gin still up-close. Did you know gin and cheese make the perfect pairing? Find out how best to enjoy them in the 2 hour Scottish Gins and Cheeses Masterclass.

Sip Antics

Sip Antics specialize in small and personal gin school classes from their bespoke private micro distilling room in the Cumberland Bar. 

Lasting around 3 hours, The Gin School Experience provides gin lovers the chance to really get hands-on. After a welcome G&T, choose from over 60 botanicals to create your own recipe, before making a bottle of 70cl gin on the small copper stills, bottling, labelling and waxing it, ready to enjoy at home.


Half pint of  Mochaccino Stout on table

With a focus on quality and sustainability, Pilot produce a range of beer to cover all tastes and preferences. From the zingy Lime and Black Pepper Gose to the fruity Pineapple Berliner, their range of unique beers is well worth a look, and taste.

From their base in Leith, their 1.5 hour tours run every Saturday and provide a behind the scenes tour of the brewery. Vistors will get to learn about the range of beers produced and taste at least 6 of them, from the core range to special editions.

You’ll then head home with a local pub guide, which includes a number of special offers!

Cold Town House

 front row seat to the Cold Town Beer brewing process

Learn about the science behind craft brewing with Cold Town House.

Located in an empty church on Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, Cold Town takes its name from Edinburgh’s Calton Hill Brewery, the first in Britain to brew lager. That brewery was situated in the suburb Caldtoun, in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, which we now know to be Calton Hill.

Visitors get the chance to go behind the scenes of this city-centre microbrewery, find out how Cold Town Beer is made and follow the process from pipe to tap. Led by a member of their expert brewing team, this is a great opportunity to ask all those questions you’ve ever had about the magical process of brewing.

Aiming to find a beer for everyone, along the way you’ll sample a variety of brews, including the classic Cold Town Lager and New England IPA, as well as tasting some of their seasonal brews. The tour is completed with a Neapolitan pizza of your choice and a pint fresh from the tank.

Bellfield Brewery

Bellfield Brewhouse

Established in 2015, Bellfield Brewery produce a range of exceptional beers that everyone can enjoy. Whether it’s a classic IPA, a hoppy ale or a crisp, refreshing lager, all their beers are certified by Coeliac UK and registered with the Vegan Society.

Join their Brewery Tour & Tasting and learn about the history of Bellfield before being taken into the brewhouse to discover what each piece of equipment is and how it works. Afterwards, the tasting session awaits – sample four beers while a member of the team takes you through the malts, hops and other ingredients used to make them.

Stewart Brewing

Whether you want to pick a brewer’s brains on all things beer or gain an insight into the more creative process of designing beer recipes, Stewart Brewing offers both.

Lasting around 2 hours, visitors are welcomed to The Brewery Tour with a beer followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of where the magic is created. Then it’s back to the bar where you get to sample a few beers to enjoy at your leisure.

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